You are here

March Airline Traffic Data: First Quarter Domestic Traffic Up 6.6 Percent From 2004

March Airline Traffic Data: First Quarter Domestic Traffic Up 6.6 Percent From 2004

PDF

BTS 26-05
Dave Smallen
202-366-5568

Thursday, June 16, 2005 - U.S. airlines carried 6.6 percent more domestic passengers and flew 1.1 percent more domestic flights during the first three months of 2005 than they did during the same period in 2004, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) today reported, in a release of preliminary data (Table 1).

BTS, a part of DOT's Research and Innovative Technology Administration, reported that the airlines carried 153.9 million domestic passengers during the first three months of 2005, up from the 144.4 million carried between January and March 2004 (Table 2). The passengers were carried on 2.43 million flights, up 1.1 percent from the 2.40 million flights operated in 2004 (Table 1).

In other domestic comparisons from the first three months of 2004 to the first three months of 2005:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 6.5 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 0.9 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 3.9 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 1.0 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was unchanged at 863 miles per trip.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 19.8 million domestic passengers during the first three months of 2005, the most of any airline (Table 3).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during the first three months of 2005, with 9.3 million passenger boardings (Table 4).

March 2005 Airline Traffic

For the month of March 2005, U.S. airlines carried 58.5 million domestic passengers, 7.2 percent more than in March 2004 (Table 5).

These passengers were carried on 860,226 flights, up 2.1 percent from the flights operated in March 2004.

In other month-to-month domestic comparisons from March 2004 to March 2005:

Revenue passenger miles, a measure of the number of passengers and the distance flown, were up 7.5 percent.

Available seat-miles, a measure of airline capacity, were up 1.6 percent.

Load factor, a measure of how many seats are sold and used, was up 4.3 percentage points.

Flight stage length, the average non-stop distance flown per departure, was up 1.1 percent.

Passenger trip length, the average distance flown per passenger, was up 0.2 percent.

Among airlines, Southwest Airlines carried 7.7 million domestic passengers during March, the most of any airline (Table 6).

Among airports, Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta was the busiest U.S. airport for domestic travel during March, with 3.6 million passenger boardings (Table 7).

Additional airline traffic data can be found on the BTS website at TranStats, the Intermodal Transportation Database at http://transtats.bts.gov. Click on "Aviation," then on "Air Carrier Statistics (Form 41 Traffic)," then click on "T-100 Domestic Market."

Data are compiled from monthly reports filed with BTS by commercial air carriers detailing operations, passenger traffic and freight traffic. March traffic data are preliminary and include data received by BTS from 101 airlines as of June 14. March numbers do not include Spirit Airlines. Data are subject to revision.

Revised data from February 2005 and previous months are posted on the BTS website at http://transtats.bts.gov. BTS will release April traffic data and revised data from March and previous months on July 14.

Table 1: Domestic Airline Travel January to March

Excel | CSV

  Jan-Mar 2004 Jan-Mar 2005 Change
Passengers 144,382,885 153,871,888 6.6%
Flights 2,404,238 2,431,484 1.1%
Revenue Passenger Miles (000) 124,669,951 132,812,666 6.5%
Available Seat Miles (000) 178,327,648 179,920,441 0.9%
Load Factor 69.9 73.8 3.9 points
Flight Stage Length* 600 606 1.0%
Passenger Trip Length** 863 863 0.0%

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

* The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Table 2: Total Industry Domestic Enplanements

Excel | CSV

Month 2003 2004 2005 2004-2005 Pct. Change
January 43,340,260 44,158,365 48,143,817 9.0%
February 41,464,697 45,660,443 47,220,958 3.4%
March 50,387,437 54,564,077 58,507,113 7.2%
April 47,364,281 53,653,708    
May 49,413,135 53,338,386    
June 52,541,086 57,289,410    
July 56,144,204 59,997,802    
August 54,320,569 57,724,502    
September 44,575,000 47,901,458    
October 50,346,823 54,473,796    
November 47,455,664 51,943,697    
December 50,126,985 52,768,872    
Jan.-Mar. Total 135,192,394 144,382,885 153,871,888 6.6%
Annual Total 587,480,141 633,474,516    

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 3: Top 10 Airlines, ranked by January-March 2005 Domestic Enplanements

Excel | CSV

Jan-Mar 2005 Rank Carrier Jan-Mar 2005 Passengers Jan-Mar 2004 Rank Jan-Mar 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest Airlines 19,795,083 2 18,201,770
2 Delta Air Lines 19,683,967 1 18,709,116
3 American Airlines 18,098,373 3 17,396,249
4 United Airlines 12,902,571 4 13,382,989
5 Northwest Airlines 11,107,201 5 10,318,991
6 US Airways 9,508,318 6 8,782,342
7 Continental Airlines 7,728,291 7 7,339,272
8 America West Airlines 4,846,303 8 4,646,516
9 American Eagle Airlines 3,689,073 9 3,109,240
10 SkyWest Airlines 3,598,158 12 2,830,617

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 4: Top 10 Airports ranked by January-March 2004 Domestic Enplanements

Excel | CSV

Jan-Mar 2005 Rank Airport Name Jan-Mar 2005 Passengers Jan-Mar 2004 Rank Jan-Mar 2004 Passengers
1 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l 9,316,914 1 8,833,235
2 Chicago O'Hare Int'l 7,017,005 2 6,868,016
3 Dallas-Fort Worth Int'l 5,895,330 3 6,037,701
4 Los Angeles Int'l 4,892,727 4 4,766,656
5 Las Vegas McCarran Int'l 4,777,544 6 4,516,059
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor Int'l 4,646,356 7 4,455,583
7 Denver Int'l 4,595,703 5 4,520,336
8 Orlando Int'l 3,984,678 9 3,637,026
9 Minneapolis-St.Paul Int'l 3,919,361 8 3,731,445
10 Houston-George Bush Intercontinental 3,662,082 11 3,266,219

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 5: Domestic Airline Travel in March

Excel | CSV

  March 2004 March 2005 Change
Passengers 54,564,077 58,507,113 7.2%
Flights 842,341 860,226 2.1%
Revenue Passenger Miles(000) 47,053,212 50,563,715 7.5%
Available Seat Miles(000) 62,545,282 63,568,499 1.6%
Load Factor 75.2 79.5 4.3 points
Flight Stage Length* 600 607 1.1%
Passenger Trip Length** 862 864 0.2%

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market and Segment

* The average non-stop distance flown per departure in miles

** The average distance flown per passenger in miles

Table 6: Top 10 Airlines, ranked by March 2005 Domestic Enplanements

Excel | CSV

March 2005 Rank Carrier March 2005 Passengers March 2004 Rank March 2004 Passengers
1 Southwest Airlines 7,673,320 1 7,089,890
2 Delta Air Lines 7,456,338 2 6,947,233
3 American Airlines 6,838,822 3 6,425,910
4 United Airlines 4,726,521 4 5,029,770
5 Northwest Airlines 4,337,922 5 4,021,053
6 US Airways 3,783,300 6 3,335,691
7 Continental Airlines 3,017,625 7 2,762,806
8 America West Airlines 1,808,604 8 1,710,680
9 American Eagle Airlines 1,402,327 9 1,166,685
10 Frontier Airlines 1,399,229 11 1,142,815

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market

Table 7: Top 10 Airports ranked by March 2005 Domestic Enplanements

Excel | CSV

March 2005 Rank Airport Name March 2005 Passengers March 2004 Rank March 2004 Passengers
1 Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l 3,561,586 1 3,297,204
2 Chicago O'Hare Int'l 2,712,676 2 2,637,828
3 Dallas-Fort Worth Int'l 2,172,313 3 2,236,096
4 Los Angeles Int'l 1,814,779 4 1,778,262
5 Las Vegas McCarran Int'l 1,790,002 6 1,698,023
6 Phoenix Sky Harbor Int'l 1,765,948 7 1,687,051
7 Denver Int'l 1,687,298 5 1,706,755
8 Minneapolis-St.Paul Int'l 1,532,950 8 1,445,186
9 Orlando Int'l 1,453,965 9 1,351,597
10 Houson-George Bush Intercontinental 1,394,566 11 1,203,203

Source: Bureau of Transportation Statistics, T-100 Domestic Market